Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let's dust off this blog

Has something ever popped into your mind, and you thought, "oh man, I should definitely do that today!"...and then like 3 weeks goes by before you even think about it again?

Rewind to mid-February:  "I should start blogging again!!"....6 weeks later...."Hey, remember when I thought about starting to blog again?"

Okay, so this is really happening now!  You're probably thinking, 'where have you been for the last year and a half?'  If you know any teachers in your life, ask them to describe what October through testing season feels like in a facial expression or gesture...yeah, that's where I've been.   Remember when I made that same excuse and this exact same promise a year and a half ago here?    Well, there's something to be said about perseverance, right?  As long as you get up more times than you fall you're still going!

Thanks to those of you who stuck in here with me!
More posts to come!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


MOVEMBER is both a hilarious and serious time for us all.

I find it hilarious because my husband went from this:
to this:

Movember's serious nature comes from the awesome donations of the participants' family and friends.  If you care and feel generous this time of year, or if you are thankful for a healthy man in your life please follow the link below and donate in Amir's name:

Running in the D

Since high school, I've considered myself a runner.  My new year's resolution in 2008 was to run my first marathon.  I spent a little over 5 months training and finished the Marine Corps Marathon with the goal of "just don't die before you cross the finish line".  2008: New Years Resolution accomplished.

Flash forward 4 years to January 2012.  While I was home for the holidays, my dad handed me a news article for the Detroit International Marathon.  I was immediately sold and registered 2 weeks later.  Training this time, however, was much more difficult because this time I lived in Texas.  For those of you who aren't runners or don't live in Texas, training for a marathon during the summer and fall is HORRIBLE.  Running in 80-90 degree temperatures always sucks, no matter what...  My original goal was to finish in under 5 hours; however that goal flew right out the window due to my lack of training and I re-adopted the goal of "just don't die before you cross the finish line mile 16."  Well, I didn't run as well as the first go-round but I did finish and I tell myself that's all that matters :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

BELATED BLOG: My Journey Northward (part 2)

My second trip to Michigan this summer was only about five days after I left the first time.  My dad's mom passed away at the end of June.

I approach the whole situation with a mixed sense of emotion.  On one hand, she was 88 years old, and her body was failing her.  She had battled dementia, cancer, and typical geriatric-type ailments.  There is very little doubt in my mind that she is hanging out with Jesus in Heaven right now, so that is obviously a way better place to be than this world!  On the other hand, she was survived by 5 children, 14 grand children and 15 (i think?) great-grandchildren.  She left behind a legacy of love, faith and forgiveness.  As my uncle put it in his eulogy, she lived the fruits of the holy spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness) every single day. She left a meaningful impact on her family and the people around her and even though she's in a better place its hard not to miss her.

It had been a long time since attending the funeral of someone I deeply knew and cared about...this was the really the first of my adult life.  As sad as it was to see my grandmother leave this world, it became a joyous experience to re-unite with many of my cousins for the first time in years.  It was comforting to come together as a family over the course of several days and not only celebrate my grandmother's life, but also the life and love in our family.

BELATED BLOG: My Journey Northward (part 1)

I had the opportunity to visit Michigan twice this summer--each visit under different circumstances.

My first trip to "the Mitten" was to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday!!  My dad and I conspired for months, and were able to successfully pull it off!  My mom believed I was only going to be in town for about 3 days and would miss her actual birthday....well, it turned out that I was there for a full 5 days and was able to celebrate the BIG SIX-O  with her!  The following is my mom's (underwhelming?) reaction when I walked into the house to surprise her...
Dad: Oh, my friend missed his flight so he's staying here for the night...
Faye (leaping into the living room where my mom is sitting): SURPRISE!
Mom: Oh, hi.  How are you?

The best parts about Michigan for me are found in the food and family! So, here are my reviews of both:

Heaven on a bun!

 FOOD: Of course I have to start with the food!  My family's "go to" eat out spot is Leo's Coney Island.  For Mighiganians--especially those in the Metro Detroit area, we hear "Coney Dog" and a chili covered hot dog with mustard & onions that is so delicious words can barely describe comes to mind.  Now, living in the "great state of Texas", the closest thing I can get to a Coney is to go to Sonic...two thoughts typically come to mind at that suggestion a.) gross b.) I miss home.  So, my parents obviously could not refuse my requested trip to Leo's.
The coffee shop formally
known as Beaners

Other delicious food encounters occurred when my dad took my mom and I to Weber's Inn in Ann Arbor for a fancy steak dinner.  We got dressed up and ordered some amazing cuts of meat.  The restaurant seems significantly more casual than I remember as a child, but the food is still A+!  My mom opened her presents and a wonderful time was had by all!

And finally, one of my favorite Michigan "go local" endeavours is Beaners Biggby Coffee!  It started in Michigan, is just as delicious as Starbucks and even has a daily trivia question to appeal to my inner Jeopardy obsession!

FAMILY: While I was in Michigan, I got to see all of my grandparents at least once.  Most of them are doing fairly well health-wise....the one exception being my dad's mom (see: My Journey Northward-part 2).   I was also able to meet the latest addition to my family, my little cousin, Makenzie!  I think the photos speak for themselves!

One tradition that has lived in my family for well over a decade now is the daddy-daughter date.  It started when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, and I begged my dad to take me to the Daddy Daughter Dance.  If your hometown doesn't have one, its a cute version of daddy-daughter prom before daughters start thinking their dads are weird and old (no, dad, I never thought that about you...).  Well, my dad decided after  two years of expensive tickets, candy hearts, cheap lemonade and blaring dance music that we would make this an adventure of our own.  Over the years, this has included Red Wing games, museums, presidential libraries and other assorted quality time adventures.  This year, my dad took me for bowling and beers at our local Brighton Bowl!  As you can see from our scores, he won out in the end...but I put up a pretty good fight!  Luckily our daddy-daughter dates are less about the scores and more about the fact that I have a cool enough dad who wants to a.) hang out with me b.) will take me bowling (or any activity that really that I choose) c.) will buy a round of beers at 11:30 on a Saturday morning!

Thunder = stolen.

Remember when I wrote a ton of blog posts about El Paso, TX  here and here?

Well, this lady sure does know how to steal a girl's thunder...and write a pretty solid Lifestyle article:


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

BELATED BLOG: Summer like an El Pasoan

The first stop on the summer crazy train called Roohi was El Paso, Texas! 

In all honesty, I was nervous spending a month with my in-laws.  I deflected a lot of this anxiety with the obvious humor behind living as a married couple in the bedroom my husband grew up in, but June really turned out to be an amazing time!

The adventure to El Paso begins when Amir left while I still had 2 weeks left in the school year.  We drove to Austin in two cars to help Amir break the trip up.  In the morning, Amir set out to El Paso (green route below) and I headed back to Houston.  Along the way, my tire blew out.  Stranded between Bastrop and Smithville on US-71, I couldn’t help but think of last summer’s tire debacle!  Luckily my roadside assistance and a Walmart were open on a Sunday afternoon!  A long, 97°F day later, Amir hit the El Paso city limit as I pulled into our apartment complex with a brand new tire!  Fast forward two weeks: I leave our extra car in Austin and fly to El Paso (pink route below).  Of course, I’m flying out of a too-small-for-its-booming-population-airport within a week of all local school districts and Universities letting out for the summer.  With over an hour wait to check bags and get through security, it was a pretty terrible idea to get to the airport an hour before my flight took off.  Luckily, Southwest Airlines is the bomb and held the plane for me and about 30 other passengers to make our way through the atrocious security situation!
Once in El Paso, I spent a lot of time, working out, reading, catching up on TV shows I had long abandoned, and spending hours of quality time with my little sister.   For someone who left Houston feeling exhausted, overworked and somewhat apathetic to a job and cause I dearly love, my down time in El Paso was exactly what I needed to recharge.

Dressed up for dinner!

Sarah fixing Amir's bow tie
Other fun El Paso destinations included my friend Desiree’s boutique, Royally Sweet (shameless advertising plug for those of you who LOVE adorable, reasonably priced girl accessories here and here).   We spent a couple of nights at Brew (local dive/sports bar) and A Little Bit of Texas (country dance bar/Ft Bliss hang out)!   Shopping and drinking aside, El Paso is also home of some fabulous eateries.  Aparte de un par de comidas muy deliciosas en la casa de Tita, Amir, Sarah, and I tried out House of Pizza and Tommy’s Pit Barbeque downtown and enjoyed a family dinner at Great American Land & Cattle up on the mountain!  For those of you who don’t know much about me, one of the assured ways to my heart is through my stomach…especially with cheese, coffee, chocolate, and carbohydrates.  All these places hit on at least one of my favorite food groups so if you’re ever in El Paso, check them out!

In terms of sightseeing, one of my all-time favorite things to do in El Paso is hike.  The Franklin Mountains are not only an amazing view from town but a mile-high workout!   Seemingly every time we visit El Paso, I put “going up the mountain” on our list of things to do; however, it typically takes a back seat to less rigorous activities.  This time, I WON OUT (mostly with my daily nagging reminders) and up the mountain we went!!   In December 2009, Amir, Farid, Sarah & I made it all the way to the top and then some.  Two months later, Amir took me to the top and proposed, so this mountain holds more sentimental value than I can explain!  We made it about half way up this time, which was just enough of a fix to hold me over until December (get ready Amir, we’re doing it)! 
Our final sight seeing adventure was a tour of the Plaza Theater.  The Plaza is a beautiful landmark in El Paso, though easily overlooked.  Our tour included the rise, fall and restoration of the Plaza throughout the last hundred years.  Did you know: the Plaza was the first public theater in the US to have air conditioning (its in El Paso, duh)? It is home to a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ?  It still featueres broadway shows?  Well, neither did I!  Its an atmospheric theater so you're supposed to feel outside when watching a play, and hopefully someday we'll be in town when something is actually being performed.  Until then, the tour was pretty good!